June 24, 2020 - Artist Cinemas - Artist Cinemas presents War and Cinema
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June 24, 2020

Artist Cinemas

Andriy Rachinskiy and Daniil Revkovskiy, Labor Safety in the Region of Dnipropetrovsk (clip), 2018.

Artist Cinemas presents War and Cinema
Week #2: Andriy Rachinskiy and Daniil Revkovskiy, Labor Safety in the Region of Dnipropetrovsk

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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of Andriy Rachinskiy and Daniil Revkovskiy’s Labor Safety in the Region of Dnipropetrovsk (2018), the second installment of War and Cinema, on view from Wednesday, June 24 through Tuesday, June 30, 2020 and featuring an interview with the filmmakers by Oleksiy Radynski.

War and CInema is a six-part program of films, video works, and interviews put together by Radynski. It is the second program in Artist Cinemas, a long-term, online series of film programs curated by artists for e-flux Video & Film

Artist Cinemas presents War and Cinema
Week #2: Wednesday, June 24—Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Andriy Rachinskiy and Daniil Revkovskiy, Labor Safety in the Region of Dnipropetrovsk, 2018
22 minutes

This work by artist-duo Rachinskiy and Revkovskiy utilizes the form of compilation film, a novel practice of moving-image production that’s flourishing online. 

The artists had conducted an in-depth research into the social-media accounts of workers of some of Ukraine’s industrial enterprises—notorious for poor labor conditions and environmental damage (ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Dnieper Metallurgical Combine, and Southern Mining Company, to name a few). Having assembled a vast archive of online videos shot and uploaded by industrial workers, the artists had produced a found-footage disaster movie where environmental atrocities are piled up in a devastating tragicomedy of a suicidal war on nature waged by humans. In the background, a class war is raging as well. Industrial management, factory owners, and the government who make this perpetual ecological disaster possible remain mostly invisible in the film, while the workers deploy their ultimate weapons—mobile phones—to expose the evidence of this “class war from above.” In the midst of this (post-) industrial hell, the film’s action is interspersed with unexpected situations of humaneness, humor, and comradeship. 

Excerpt from the interview with the filmmakers by Oleksiy Radynski:

Oleksiy Radynski: In an interview with filmmaker Yuriy Hrytsyna published here last week, we discussed the notion of bumblefuck as an important inspiration for post-Soviet artistic production. You seem to be working with this source in your projects as well.

Andriy Rachinskiy: Many of our projects are related to the industrial regions of Ukraine that are now often referred to as bumblefuck. In 2018, we made the project KTM-5, about a tram accident that took place in Dniprodzerzhinsk in 1996, at a time when all public transportation in Ukraine was in a totally derelict condition. Back then, a tram with malfunctioning brakes hit a concrete fence, killing 34 people and injuring more than a hundred. Our latest project, Mischievous (2020), is about the “runners” in the city of Kryvyi Rih—which is what the gangs that waged bloody wars between city districts were called. We had projected this story on Zaporizhia, another industrial city in Ukraine. We made up new names for the gangs, complete with insignia and costumes, and a “headquarters.” We also created an information stand for an imagined police department telling about the policemen who had died in the gang wars, and recreated an investigative experiment with one of the gang members. 

Oleksiy Radynski: Tell me about Darkness, your recent project from 2019, that was based on Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

Andriy Rachinskiy: For this film we partly recreated the plot of Apocalypse Now, moving it to the near future of Ukraine—a future in which war and death became a new religion, an inevitable and indispensable part of reality.

Daniil Revkovskiy: I play the mad colonel, and Andriy is the officer on a mission to eliminate me...

Watch the film and read the full interview here.

About the program
War and Cinema traces various cinematic engagements with the war raging in the Eastern margins of the European continent for over six years now—a war that was sparked by the military occupation of Crimea by the Russian military in Spring 2014, and that subsequently consumed large swaths of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine. The program does not represent the fruits of the alleged “boom” in Ukrainian filmmaking that was observed, predictably, with the outbreak of war. Rather, it looks at the margins of image production in wartime. This program also strives to enable conversations between the films that do not necessarily belong to the same cinematic worlds—even if their country of origin remains the same. War and Cinema will run for six weeks from June 17 through July 29, 2020, screening a new film each week accompanied by an interview with the filmmaker(s). Throughout the duration of the program, more information on the films, their makers, and contexts will be published on the program convener's telegram channel

War and Cinema is convened by Oleksiy Radynski.

About the series
Artist Cinemas is a new e-flux platform focusing on exploring the moving image as understood by people who make film. It is informed by the vulnerability and enchantment of the artistic process—producing non-linear forms of knowledge and expertise that exist outside of academic or institutional frameworks. It will also acknowledge the circles of friendship and mutual inspiration that bind the artistic community. Over time this platform will trace new contours and produce different understandings of the moving image.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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